Hugo: A Hidden Past Revealed

By Rhadem Camlian Morados - Philippines | 2016 - 37 minutes

Synopsis: Hugô: A Hidden Past Revealed is a 36-minute documentary about the bul-ul, a traditional and iconic Ifugao human-like wood carving from the northern mountains of the Philippines, and the various claims about its origin, use, and function. 

Technical Information:

Writer: Franchesca Casuay
Producer: Mark Kooijman and Jelmer Ikink
Cinematographer: Rhadem Camlian Morados
Editor: Rhadem Camlian Morados

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Director's notes:

The documentary was born upon witnessing a traditional thanksgiving ritual in the Cordillera Region, where the bul-ul is used by Ifugao tribes as a conduit to invoke the presence of ancestral spirits to grace their ceremonies. Most Filipinos and foreign enthusiasts have been taught that the figurine was a rice god and have seen it on display mostly as an antique and/or art object. An informal chat with a young mombaki (an Ifugao spiritual leader) prompted the team to go on a quest to learn more about the cultural artifact. This endeavor led them to Ifugao Province, Benguet, and Metro Manila, where they met with and interviewed resource persons on Ifugao culture. Along the way, the many faces of the bul-ul were revealed, inadvertently unmasking, among others, issues about the commodification of culture, as well as the tension between the need for heritage preservation and the inherently evolving nature of cultural transmission.

Awards & Recognitions:

24th FACINE 
- Special Award on Cultural Preservation

2018 Monaco Charity Film Festival
- Best Director


A Project Developed by:


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